A summer-long scavenger in the West Kootenays

by • July 6, 2017 • Articles, Kootenay Rockies, Literary Festivals, Music FestivalsComments (0)70

Should it be a surprise that a pristine place like Kaslo, nestled within view of Mt. Loki, a peak named for a Greek god with shapeshifting abilities, has the energy to draw musicians from the Coast?

The Eisenhauers left the city in search of peace and quiet, and they found it in the Kootenays, recording their debut album months after moving to the town on Lake Kootenay in a region that hosts the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy.

Maybe there’s something in the water, or maybe it’s the acoustics of the valley, but these hills are alive with music. Let’s go find it.

First, head an hour south to Nelson and carbo-load up on some fresh sourdough from any of the bakeries in the area, maybe a loaf delivered by ELF tricycle by UpHill Bakery, and get ready to plan a bunch of your summer because it’s going south from here.

To Ymir, where in early June Tiny Lights 2017 took its place amongst the 150 or so things to do in the Nelson-Kootenay Lake region during Canada 150. The festival merges art and music to create something new every year in the tiny hamlet on Highway 6.

The old and the new collide at the family-friendly Starbelly Jam festival, back in the third weekend of July for the sesquicentennial after a recess in 2016.

Now back to Kaslo for the iconic Jazz Etc. festival during the August long weekend, then to the happy cow Salmo River Ranch to refuel on Shambhalove, the e-juice powering the 20th anniversary edition of the midsomer electronic music festival Shambhala.

And as the valley prepares for fall, satisfy your senses one more time at the Garlic Festival, the 25th, in fact, on September 10 in New Denver, 100 kilometres north of Nelson.

But all this is assuming you spent Canada Day at Lakeside Park and meandering through the annual Nelson Artwalk, right? Eleven straight weeks of exhibitions by 30 artists in 15 different venues, the Art Walk staged by the Nelson District Art Council is underway and in its 29th year. Run, don’t walk. Well, run, then walk.

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